This Focused Issue on “Targeted Therapy in Gastrointestinal Cancers” is edited by Dr. Niranjan Awasthi and Dr. Changhua Zhang.
Niranjan Awasthi, PhD
Department of Surgery, Indiana University School of Medicine, South Bend, IN, USA
Dr. Awasthi is a senior research professor at the Department of Surgery, Indiana University School of Medicine in the USA. He received his Ph.D. degree in Biochemistry, University of Lucknow, India. He received postdoctoral training at the Department of Biochemistry, University of Medicine and Dentistry, New Jersey, and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Texas, USA. In 2013, he joined the faculty of Indiana University to pursue his research aims of improving the survival of upper gastrointestinal cancer patients. Dr. Awasthi has more than twenty years of research experience in various disciplines, and for the past 13 years, his laboratory research is focused on evaluating experimental therapeutics in pancreatic, gastric and bile duct cancer. All these cancers are multifactorial, highly resistant to conventional therapies and have a very poor prognosis. Dr. Awasthi lab has developed several highly effective, reproducible and efficient animal models including subcutaneous, orthotopic, peritoneal dissemination and patient-derived xenografts, to evaluate experimental therapeutics in these cancers. He has published 38 research articles in the past 13 years in the high-impact peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Awasthi’s recent preclinical research work in pancreatic cancer demonstrated that nab-paclitaxel is a superior chemotherapeutic agent compared with gemcitabine or docetaxel, and the addition of antiangiogenic agents enhanced nab-paclitaxel antitumor response. These research findings played a significant role in the FDA approval of the nab-paclitaxel and gemcitabine combination for the treatment of advanced pancreatic cancer. The clinical and translation impact of his research is evident by several Industry-Sponsored Research Grants and Cancer Research Foundation Grants in recent years. Dr. Awasthi’s research objectives are to develop novel and more effective therapeutic strategies and delineate the mechanism(s) of antitumor efficacy of these therapies for improving the clinical outcome of patients with advanced gastric, pancreatic and bile duct cancer.
Changhua Zhang, MD, PhD
Center for Gastrointestinal Diseases, the Seventh Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University, Shenzhen, Guangdong, China
Dr. Changhua Zhang was graduated from Wannan Medical College and became a faculty member of Department of Anatomy, Wannan Medical College in 1995. Dr. Zhang became the Master and doctor candidates of the First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University in 2000 and Surgeon-in-charge in 2005. Dr. Zhang was a visiting scholar in the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, USA, from March 2011 to March 2013 and he visited and studied at the University of Birmingham, UK, in July 2013. Since December 2015, Dr. Zhang became Professor and Chief Physician of the First Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University. From 2014, Dr. Zhang also was the Deputy Chief Executive of Department of Gastrointestinal Surgery, First Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University. Since January 2018, Dr. Zhang has been Vice-President of the Seventh Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University.
Dr. Zhang has published more than 120 scientific articles, including 36 articles in SCI-indexed journals (as the first author or corresponding author in 16 articles) and 2 teaching articles. He has received a patent for an invention (patent No.: ZL 200720178874.1) and won one Guangdong Provincial Science and Technology Progress Award (second class) (Basic Research on Surgical Treatment and Advanced Gastric Cancer, No. 2009-B15-0-2-03, 2009, the fourth investigator). He was the Deputy Editor-in-Chief of the monograph Lymphatic Metastasis of Gastric Cancer. Also, he participated in the contribution of two other books. He is also a member of the Youth Editorial Board of Chinese Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery (2015.3).
Focused issue outline:
- Targeted therapy in esophageal cancer
- Targeted therapy in stomach cancer
- Targeted therapy in pancreatic cancer
- Targeted therapy in liver cancer
- Targeted therapy in bile duct/gallbladder cancer
- Targeted therapy in small bowel cancer
- Targeted therapy in colorectal cancer
- Targeted therapy in anal cancer